The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 8 books and stories free download online pdf in English

The RÁMÁYAN of VÁLMÍKI - Part 2 - 8

8
Canto VIII. 
Manthará's Speech.
The damsel's breast with fury burned:

She answered, as the gift she spurned:

“What time, O simple Queen, is this

For idle dreams of fancied bliss?

Hast thou not sense thy state to know,

Engulfed in seas of whelming woe;

Sick as I am with grief and pain

My lips can scarce a laugh restrain

To see thee hail with ill-timed joy

A peril mighty to destroy.

I mourn for one so fondly blind:

What woman of a prudent mind

Would welcome, e'en as thou hast done,

The lordship of a rival's son,

Rejoiced to find her secret foe

Empowered, like death, to launch the blow;

I see that Ráma still must fear

Thy Bharat, to his throne too near.

Hence is my heart disquieted,

For those who fear are those we dread.

Lakshmaṇ, the mighty bow who draws,

With all his soul serves Ráma's cause;

And chains as strong to Bharat bind

Śatrughna, with his heart and mind,

Now next to Ráma, lady fair,

Thy Bharat is the lawful heir:

And far remote, I ween, the chance

That might the younger two advance.

Yes, Queen, 'tis Ráma that I dread,

Wise, prompt, in warlike science bred;

And oh, I tremble when I think

Of thy dear child on ruin's brink.

Blest with a lofty fate is she,

Kauśalyá; for her son will be

Placed, when the moon and Pushya meet,

By Bráhmans on the royal seat,

Thou as a slave in suppliant guise

Must wait upon Kauśalyá's eyes,

With all her wealth and bliss secured

And glorious from her foes assured.

Her slave with us who serve thee, thou

Wilt see thy son to Ráma bow,

And Sítá's friends exult o'er all,

While Bharat's wife shares Bharat's fall.”

As thus the maid in wrath complained,

Kaikeyí saw her heart was pained,

And answered eager in defence

Of Ráma's worth and excellence:

“Nay, Ráma, born the monarch's heir,

By holy fathers trained with care,

Virtuous, grateful, pure, and true,

Claims royal sway as rightly due.

He, like a sire, will long defend

Each brother, minister, and friend.

Then why, O hump-back, art thou pained

To hear that he the throne has gained?

Be sure when Ráma's empire ends,

The kingdom to my son descends,

Who, when a hundred years are flown,

Shall sit upon his fathers' throne.

Why is thine heart thus sad to see

The joy that is and long shall be,

This fortune by possession sure

And hopes which we may count secure?

Dear as the darling son I bore

Is Ráma, yea, or even more.

Most duteous to Kauśalyá, he

Is yet more dutiful to me.

What though he rule, we need not fear:

His brethren to his soul are dear.

And if the throne Prince Ráma fill

Bharat will share the empire still.”

She ceased. The troubled damsel sighed

Sighs long and hot, and thus replied:

“What madness has possessed thy mind,

To warnings deaf, to dangers blind?

Canst thou not see the floods of woe

That threaten o'er thine head to flow:

First Ráma will the throne acquire,

Then Ráma's son succeed his sire,

While Bharat will neglected pine

Excluded from the royal line.

Not all his sons, O lady fair,

The kingdom of a monarch share:

All ruling when a sovereign dies

Wild tumult in the state would rise.

The eldest, be he good or ill,

Is ruler by the father's will.

Know, tender mother, that thy son

Without a friend and all undone,

Far from the joyous ease of home

An alien from his race will roam.

I sped to thee for whom I feel,

But thy fond heart mistakes my zeal,

Thy hand a present would bestow

Because thy rival triumphs so.

When Ráma once begins his sway

Without a foe his will to stay,

Thy darling Bharat he will drive

To distant lands if left alive.

By thee the child was sent away

Beneath his grandsire's roof to stay.

Even in stocks and stones perforce

Will friendship spring from intercourse.

The young Śatrughna too would go

With Bharat, for he loved him so.

As Lakshmaṇ still to Ráma cleaves,

He his dear Bharat never leaves.

There is an ancient tale they tell:

A tree the foresters would fell

Was saved by reeds that round it stood,

For love that sprang of neighbourhood.

So Lakshmaṇ Ráma will defend,

And each on each for aid depend.

Such fame on earth their friendship wins

As that which binds the Heavenly Twins.

And Ráma ne'er will purpose wrong

To Lakshmaṇ, for their love is strong.

But Bharat, Oh, of this be sure,

Must evil at his hands endure.

Come, Ráma from his home expel

An exile in the woods to dwell.

The plan, O Queen, which I advise

Secures thy weal if thou be wise.

So we and all thy kith and kin

Advantage from thy gain shall win.

Shall Bharat, meet for happier fate,

Born to endure his rival's hate,

With all his fortune ruined cower

And dread his brother's mightier power!

Up, Queen, to save thy son, arise;

Prostrate at Ráma's feet he lies.

So the proud elephant who leads

His trooping consorts through the reeds

Falls in the forest shade beneath

The lion's spring and murderous teeth.

Scorned by thee in thy bliss and pride

Kauśalyá was of old defied,

And will she now forbear to show

The vengeful rancour of a foe?

O Queen, thy darling is undone

When Ráma's hand has once begun

Ayodhyá's realm to sway,

Come, win the kingdom for thy child

And drive the alien to the wild

In banishment to-day.”